By Mary Taruvinga
JAILED journalist Hopewell Chin’ono Friday defiantly urged Zimbabweans to persist with their fight against high level corruption under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime.
Chin’ono took a bold moment to address journalists as he was being escorted into the prison truck back to remand prison shortly after he had been denied bail.
He said he was being persecuted by authorities for reporting about the planned July 31 protests against corruption.
“The struggle against corruption should continue. People should not stop. They should carry own with it,” Chin’ono said as he climbed on to the prison truck together with other prisoners.
The top scribe will endure more time behind the bars after he was denied bail by Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna.
Chin’ono is facing a charge of incitement to commit public violence after he allegedly called for a protest against the government.
The magistrate supported the state’s claims that he might reoffend if granted bail considering that July 31 was around the corner.
“This court is of the view that the state has managed to put sufficient reasons against the accused and bail is hereby denied,” he ruled.
Chin’ono will be back in court on August 7 for his routine remand.
The journalist was arrested on allegations of inciting the public to commit violence by staging a demonstration against the President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government via his Twitter handle.
He denies the allegations.
While seeking bail, his lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had said the state has no solid ground to deny him bail.
“The state’s case is so weak and is only based on political reasons. The Investigating Officer (IO) says anyone who says Zanu PF must go without an election is committing an offence.
“But it is important that even at this bail stage, it deals with Constitutional rights. The right to protest, petition is provided for in the Constitution. It also deals with the right of freedom of expression, conscience, assembly, association and also the freedom of the media.
“As a journalist, the accused is there to disseminate information,” she said.
Mtetwa had suggested that if released on bail, her client was ready to pay $5 000 bail, report once a week at his local police station and continue residing at his given address.